A NEW date has been put on the opening of Middlewich’s £58 million eastern bypass.

Cheshire East Council had hoped the road would be open to traffic by winter 2021 when it appointed Balfour Beatty as the contractor to build it in January.

But as revealed by the Guardian last month, CEC pushed that target date back by around two years to allow extra time for any possible compulsory purchase issues and funding agreements.

And at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Cllr Don Stockton, cabinet member for environment, suggested the road could now be open in October 2023 – although that date could still change before the end of next year.

He said: “The council continues to make good progress towards delivering the Middlewich eastern bypass.

Winsford Guardian:

“In January the council appointed Balfour Beatty as the main contractor for the scheme, and within the coming weeks the planning application will be considered by CEC’s strategic planning committee.

“Based on the programmes we have developed with Balfour Beatty, the main construction works are expected to start in January 2021, with the bypass open to traffic by October 2023.

“All dates remain subject to review until we have a final confirmation of planning permission, land acquisition and Government funding for the scheme, which is expected at the end of 2020.”

The Government announced it would provide £46.8 million towards the bypass in October 2017, and the remainder of the project will be funded by up to five developer contributions, with CEC making up any shortfall on top.

READ > Middlewich eastern bypass opening target put back by two years

Both CEC and Cheshire West and Chester Council need to give planning permission for the bypass, which straddles the border of the two boroughs.

Cllr Stockton added: “This is a great news story for Middlewich and indeed for this council.

“We have long endeavoured to deliver on behalf of the residents, and I believe we are doing that as a council very well.”